Hunger in Maine
New Statistics Confirm Ongoing Hunger Crisis
In the wake of the recent economic crisis more people are hungry than ever before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA) reported on September 5, 2013 that 48.9 million Americans, including 15.8 million children, lived in food insecure households in 2012. These numbers remained relatively unchanged from 2011.
A person is considered food insecure if they lack access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition.
Many Mainers have been hard hit by the recent recession. The USDA estimates that 15 percent of Maine households, or more than 200,000 Mainers, are food insecure. The number of Mainers who are food insecure has increased significantly in recent years. Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity.
Hunger in Maine (Source: USDA)
- Population: 1,328,361
- Food insecurity rate: 15 percent of households, or more than 200,000 people
- Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity
- Child food insecurity rate: 23.9 percent, or nearly 1 in every 4 children, are food insecure (62,810 children)
- Maine ranks 19th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of child food insecurity
- Senior food insecurity rate: 5.46 percent of Maine seniors are food insecure
- Maine ranks 17th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of senior food insecurity
- Since 2005 there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of Mainers facing hunger
Additional Facts About Poverty & Hunger
- Poverty rate in Maine: 12.8 percent (Source: Census Bureau)
- Child poverty rate in Maine: 17.5 percent (Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation)
- Maine unemployment rate: 6.9 percent (July 2013, Source: ME Dept. of Labor)
- Food Stamps: Approximately 19 percent of Mainers are using food stamps (FY 2012, Source: USDA)
- 35 percent of Maine's food insecure population makes too much to qualify for food stamps and must rely on the charity food assistance network (Source: Feeding America)